A British film-maker has been killed whilst operating along Kurdish forces preventing Islamic State in Syria, his pals and Kurdish activists have mentioned.
Mehmet Aksoy, 32, from London, used to be now not preventing however operating as a press officer for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) when the army base in which he used to be stationed used to be hit by a wonder assault on Tuesday morning.
Aksoy, a Turkish Kurd who moved to Britain together with his circle of relatives 22 years in the past, is thought to be the 5th British citizen killed whilst volunteering with the US-led armed forces spearheading the fight towards Isis in Syria.
Friends showed his dying ultimate evening as about 300 British Kurds, together with his folks, held a twilight vigil on the Kurdish Community Centre in north London.
“Mehmet never fought – that was never his plan,” buddy Aladdin Sinayic, 38, from London, advised the Guardian. “He told me just before he left that there are better ways he could fight Isis than with a gun. He said there are many great fighters offering their lives to defeat Isis but they are not visible to the world. He wanted to tell their stories and show the world what the Kurds are doing in Syria.”
It is known that Aksoy travelled to Syria on 22 July with out telling his folks, who personal an off-licence in Luton. He spent the following 3 months filming the fight for Raqqa, publishing his subject matter on social media and different internet sites. His task used to be additionally to liaise with newshounds in Britain and all over the world masking the battle.
Friends described him as a “passionate” and “loving” guy who had faithful his existence to supporting the Kurdish fight for higher rights in the Middle East. “He had wanted to go for a long time but stayed at home for the sake of his mother,” Aladdin mentioned.
“He talked to her a lot about how he dreamed of moving to Kurdistan and I think she was scared for him but understood why he had to go. She told me today that she has lost her best friend.”
Aksoy’s circle of relatives have been too disenchanted to remark.
Mark Campbell, a detailed buddy and member of the Kurdish Solidarity Campaign, mentioned: “Mehmet was the most beautiful of souls who was loved by all who had the fortune to meet him, he enriched all of our lives and was utterly dedicated to telling the story of the Kurdish people’s profound struggle for justice and freedom in Turkey and Syria. He inspired and encouraged others to do the same and was my personal single greatest inspiration.”
It is known that he used to be status outdoor the Kurdish armed forces’s media centre when a small team of jihadis drove as much as the bottom, believed to be some 12 miles (20km) in the back of the frontline at Raqqa, in pickup vehicles and shot 5 guards on the primary gate.
They then drove throughout the compound and opened fireplace, killing Aksoy the place he stood in addition to a feminine Kurdish journalist beside him. YPG opponents fought again, killing all of the attackers.
The Foreign Office had been contacted for remark.
Aksoy used to be born in February 1985 in town of Malatya, southern Turkey, pals mentioned. When he used to be 10 his folks moved him to London the place the place he went to university.
After finishing his A-levels he did a bachelors stage in media research prior to taking a masters stage in film-making at Goldsmith’s, University of London. In his 20s he co-founded the London Kurdish movie pageant whilst operating as editor for the rights web page The Kurdish Question.
“The Kurdish movement was everything to him,” mentioned Aksoy’s buddy Can Atas, 29, from London. “I spoke to him a few weeks after he arrived in Syria and he told me he didn’t think he had ever felt happier. He was so excited about his idea to make a documentary about democratic confederalism and the socialist-feminist revolution that’s happening there. He said he had so many plans. I’ve lost my best friend, but the Kurds have lost a great brain.”
While in Syria, Aksoy went by the nom de guerre “Firaz Dag”. Friends mentioned he took the title Firaz from his uncle who used to be killed in Turkey in the 1990s as a guerrilla fighter with the PKK, which has waged an insurgency towards the Turkish state for many years.
“Mehmet grew up with stories about revolutionary Kurds,” Can mentioned. “His uncle was a big inspiration to him.”
An FCO spokesperson mentioned: “The UK has advised for some time against all travel to Syria. As all UK consular services are suspended in Syria, it is extremely difficult to confirm the whereabouts and status of British nationals in the country.”